Cutting the OTA over two decades ago to ‘save money’ was the dumbest decision ever, and it likely cost the American people hundreds of times the budget of the OTA based on less efficient and informed legislation. Having a group of technology experts on hand for Congress to consult with, free of industry influence, is common sense and overdue. Let’s try to get in front of the true challenges of the 21st century and get Congress the information they need to make intelligent decisions.
Problems to be Solved
- Congress lacks a dedicated research arm to provide them with vital information on new technologies and large companies such as Facebook, Google, and Amazon.
- The executive branch has access to the Office of Science and Technology Policy, creating an asymmetry in expertise that makes effective oversight by Congress essentially impossible.
- Private sector jobs in this area are extremely lucrative, making it difficult to attract talent into the public sector.
As President, I will…
- Refuse to sign any budget that doesn’t include the revival of the Office of Technology Assessment and enough funding to ensure it is staffed at sufficient levels to deliver top quality briefings to members of Congress.
- Find ways for the OTA and OTSP to work together to ensure both branches of government have the best information available and Congress can provide proper oversight of the actions of the executive branch.
- Support any changes Congress makes to its compensation structure to ensure that top talent can be attracted to work in the public sector for at least a period of time, including increasing the pay cap above congressional salaries or creating tax breaks for companies that allow employees to defer their employment to work in government for several years.